New York City Subway to Go Wireless

The nation's largest rapid-transit system will begin rolling out Wi-Fi and mobile phone service within the next two months.

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Can you hear me now? Passengers on the New York City Subway will soon be able to make phone calls and check e-mail underground.The city that never sleeps is about to become the city that stays connected: The New York City Subway, the nation's largest rapid-transit system, has revived plans to add wireless Internet and mobile phone service.

After a nearly three-year delay, Transit Wireless is set to begin work on a project that will bring Wi-Fi and mobile service to New York City Transit subway stations, platforms and even parts of the tunnels.

The $200 million project will begin with antennas in six stations within the next two months and should complete 10 to 15 stations per month until all subway stations are wireless. Mobile phone companies such as Verizon Wireless and AT&T Wireless will pay Transit Wireless to provide service for their customers in these locations. Under the deal, Transit Wireless will pay New York City Transit $46 million.

Transit Wireless won the contract in 2007, but was unable to begin the project due to financial woes during the recession. Broadcast Australia recently acquired the company, allowing the subway plans to move forward.

"The project fits very neatly with our business aspirations," said Chris Jaeger, managing director of international business for Broadcast Australia.

An average of 5.1 million people ride the New York City Subway each week, according to New York City Transit.

Tags: ATT Wireless, Broadcast Australia, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, MTA, New York City Transit, New York Subway, New York Subway wireless, News, Transit Wireless, Verizon Wireless

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